Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Spring Break and at last a new posting...

A post that never got published from Spring 2009? Wow! This semester I am taking Young Adult Literature so I am reading constantly. Here is a short recap...

Required Reading...
1. Realistic fiction: McCaughrean, Geraldine. (2007). The white darkness. New York: Harper
Tempest. (action/adventure)
2. Historical fiction: Schlitz, Laura Amy. (2007). Good masters! Sweet ladies!: Voices from a
medieval village. New York: Candlewick Press. (This is also a classroom connections book)
3. Science fiction/Fantasy: Ruff, Matt. (2007). Bad monkeys. New York: HarperCollins.
4. Humorous/Sports: Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. (2008) New York: Houghton Mifflin.
5. Mystery/Horror: Jenkins, A.M. (2006). Beating heart: A ghost story. New York:
6. Poetry: Hemphill, Stephanie. (2007). Your own, Sylvia: A verse portrait of Sylvia Plath. New
York: Knopf.
7. Multicultural: Budhos, Marina. (2006). Ask me no questions. New York: Simon & Schuster.
8. Nonfiction: Barakat, Ibtisam. (2007). Tasting the sky: A Palestinian childhood. New York:
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
9. Graphic novel: Shivack, Nadia. (2007). Inside out: Portrait of an eating disorder. New York:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
10. Classic YA literature: Blume, Judy. (1975). Forever. New York: Simon Pulse

My favorites were Ask me no questions and Tasting the sky,! Both give unimaginable looks into the life of another culture. I enjoyed both and would recommend them highly. Tasting the Sky was my favorite and the writing was brilliant.

We also had to choose five novels to read and write papers about for class and five to do a book talk about. I am still in the process of reading these. My favorite so far has been The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. A facinating tale of two stereotypical teens who become friends and find that they are both so much more than a stereotype.

Lyga, Barry (2007). The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

This week is Spring Break and again I am of course reading. I am currently reading the Adoration of Jenna Fox and enjoying it. Yet this is not my only class, I am also taking cataloging. It has given me a whole new appreciation for what goes into a library book getting on the shelf and into the database. Thank goodness for the library of congress website!

Links for Learning...

A recent grad school project was finding links I would suggest to teachers to use with their classes... Here are several of my finds. http://www.journeymart.com/tools/world-holidays/default.aspx Wonderful resource for teaching social studies and holidays celebrated around the world to elementary students. Students can select by country to explore celebrations or by month. http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moagrp/ Excellent digital library of primary sources for social studies and history teachers. Maps, Biographies, Timelines, etc. http://www.on-this-day.com Digital calendar of historical events from the Civil War to Music. Useful to create timelines, reports, biographies. http://www.factmonster.com/ Internet encyclopedia for students doing research covers from World News to Sports. Useful for researching topics and also for homework help in subject areas. http://www.tshaonline.org/moved.html Great resource for elementary students researching Texas. Provides teacher resources with wonderful lessons and worksheets TEKS listed for fourth, seventh and eighth graders. http://www.rhymer.com Online rhyming dictionary for use by language arts students. Great for poetry writing and rhyming activities. http://thesaurus.com/ Online thesaurus for students that provides part of speech, pronunciation, synonyms and antonyms as well as a visual representation of the word and related words. Excellent for word choice activities and writing. http://www.travelmath.com/ Online calculator that allows students to search destinations compare travel costs, budget and plan a trip. Super resource to do budgeting and planning activities with students. http://www.howstuffworks.com/ Excellent source for understanding the world and how the things in it work. Excellent source for how to writing and science fair project background information http://www.worldbookonline.com Web based encyclopedia for students. Excellent source for research. Super to research topics for papers, science fair projects and famous historical figures and events. http://www.ipl.org/div/kidspace/ Internet based index for elementary students covering a wide range of topics and providing useful information for research and classroom learning. http://www.pebblego.com Great resource for researching animals and other scientific topics. Easy to use and interactive for primary students. http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/ Great resource for reports on Astronauts http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/biography/ Excellent for research projects involving scientists and discoveries, creating timelines of scientific discoveries or exploring the world of Science. http://www.aaamath.com Excellent source of information and practice on all math topics for grades K-8. http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/ Great website for students to practice skills and build speed with facts. http://www.kids.gov/educators/ed_careers.shtml Great website for researching career choices based on subject interests. http://www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle/women/women.htm Great resource for students researching famous women mathematicians. http://www.merriam-webster.com/ Free online dictionary for students. http://www.kidsreads.com/authors Great biographical information on children’s authors. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html Excellent site for students researching countries, their location, population and other data. http://kathyschrock.net/research/works2.htm Great resource for teaching citing works to elementary students for research writing.

Finish line...

Wow has it really been so long since I posted on my blog. After taking a couple of years off to help my mom as she started dialysis, I finally returned to graduate school last summer to finish my degree in library science. I am happy to report I have completed all my classes and passed my certification exam. The only obstacle still in my way is completing my internship this summer! It has been a long journey but I am thrilled to finally be completing my degree. Now the real adventure begins!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Amazon to Ebay...Surf'in the summer waves!

This summer I decided it was time to clean up our computer room. Since I have gone back to grad school it has become the collection point for all my things from school and work. The books were starting to pile up and it was time to get organized. I started to drive to the college book store to return books and then I had an idea. What about selling them online? I had purchased all of my books online, mostly from Amazon due to their free shipping and fast response. I have sold items on Ebay and found it easy to use Amazon to sell my books. I not only have sold most of them, but now find myself listing and selling books for friends. So far I have sold about 10 books this summer. I have managed to make at least half of what I paid for them, so that is much better than what the bookstore used to give me in college!

When I haven't been selling online this summer, well of course I have been shopping. Ebay is a great place to find graduation gifts. I wanted college fleece throws for former students going out of state to school. I found them and had them shipped and in my hands within a week. I even found a cool laser monogrammed wood pen and business card holder and pen for a male graduate. So when it gets too hot to get out in Texas turn on your computer and go shopping!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Facebook...watch out Grandpa wants to be your friend!

Facebook...it all started out so simple. A friend had an account and suggested I try it, it's "really fun". Since I was taking web2.0 I opened an account and tried it out. I started out with a few friends and checked it every now and then. After moving five hours away, I have reconnected online with former colleagues, college friends, friends from grade school and even friends living abroad. I now have more friends online than probably in the nearby cities where I live. I must admit to find myself logging in more often and spending way too much time looking at folks photos and posts. I have managed to avoid the games, but some of the polls and quizzes reel me in. Facebook is a way for forty somethings to stay connected with old friends and family. Now not only do I find my former students, colleagues and friends their parents are joining in the fun! One of the fastest growing segments has become people in their 50's and older. So watch out next time you log on... you never know who might be requesting to be your friend!

Skype Me!

I am sure you have heard the word but perhaps you have not yet experienced the wonder of Skyping! I too had heard about this free internet calling system but hadn't used it. You download the program for free and with your computer you can talk to people around the world for free. I had found along lost friend from high school on facebook and she now lives in Guatemala. She was anxious to talk and see each other and urged me to try Skype. I downloaded it in less than 15 minutes and watched the short tutorial. Then later that evening we talked on Skype! Wow how amazing was it to see Ana in her living room in Guatemala in realtime and talk to her. I look forward to more Skyping in the future and trying a conference call via Skype. If you try Skype there are a few things to watch for your settings on your webcam must be clicked on, the blue button on the right of the screen and your speakers on your computer must be turned up. Other than that it is really easy and fun!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

MapMash... A cool tool!

Wow a cool new web 2.0 tool I found is http://mapmash.googlepages.com/. It has several features but my all time new favorite mapmash uses the best of citysearch restaurants paired with google maps. It shows you the locations of the best restaurants in your city! Cool! There are also mapmashes showing predictions for electoral votes, best places to shop, transit maps, news maps and so much more. This is a really cool site to waste time on or use to narrow your search for a new restaurant!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ike Humor...Because if you can't laugh Ike wins!

Top Ike Related T-shirt Slogans

Ike Rocked My World
Ike 1 Houston 0
How big was your storm surge?
Got IKE?
Just Rebuild It
Ike.... Is that all you got?
No Likey Ikey
I've Been Iked
I survived Ike and all I have left is this T-shirt
I didn't vote for Ike

Top 10 Good Results of Ike
1. Low electric bill (no electricity still)
2. Low water bill
3. Low grocery bill
4. Low gas bill (don't want to use b/c of shortages)
5. Got to know neighbors and see them at our worst
6. No papers to grade ( no school for 6 days so far)
7. Not having to get up early
8. Getting time to spend with family
9. Got to visit niece and nephew in San Antonio and eat lunch at their schools
10. Got to spend time with loved ones and hubby (no power at his work all week, so off)

Top Baby Names for those Ike Babies... What else could folks do this week...
Ike (okay its an easy one)

Hubby and I wrote these. After 5 nights with my parents the house was getting really small!!!! We needed air, space, a change of scenery and channels without 24/7 IKE coverage. Our house was without electricity for 12 days. Lots of downed pine trees/power lines... Fortunately just roof damage and loss of all fridge stuff, we have great friends and family to keep us and put up with our crazy emotions. Uncertaintly is hard... Hubby has not worked all week either due to no power at his job. We both needed to get away... see traffic lights that work, no lines for gas, watch IKE free TV, relax... Pray for those that are so much worse off and lost everything. My friend's 80 yr old grandparents lost everything and will have to start over. We were very blessed it is just a minor inconvenience for us. Focusing on these humorous things helped us to laugh a bit and start to relax. Hope you find humor in them too.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Oprah's New Booklist for Kids!

Oprah has just added to her site a new annotated booklist for kids. It is divided by age into five sections and even provides tips to help parents read with their children.

Also here is Oprah's speech to Stanford's graduates June 14, 2008. She reminded the students that there will be failures along life's journey and the importance of learning from our mistakes. She stressed the importance of our failures in shaping us as humans. She encouraged the students to use their gifts to make the world a better place and to enjoy the great things that are sure to come along life's journey.

I have enjoyed watching her show this summer, now it is back to taping it and watching it on the weekends. Perhaps someday when I retire I can actually attend a taping. She is an amazing woman who has impacted the life of so many through her voice. She has brought so many important issues to the forefront and now with her booklist for kids she will help to encourage parents to read with their child. Reading is so crucial to a child's success in school and in life!

Twenty Years!

Twenty years ago I graduated from A & M and started teaching. Where has time gone? Now some of those students are starting their own teaching careers. The best advice I have gleaned through the years is...Don't try to do everything at once, add one thing at a time. Don't stay at the school past 5 you will just waste time and end up very tired. Take care of yourself, if you aren't feeling well you won't do your students any good. Laugh!!! Smile!!!Enjoy each day! Keep all your sweet notes from parents and students they will help to lift your spirits on the bad days. Because they will come as they do with any job. And never ever wear a smock dress! :)

Tomorrow I start my twentieth year and I still love teaching. Seeing the smile on a child's face when they finally understand multiplication or another concept is super. But seeing my students return to share their triumphs in their life is the absolute best. I am so proud of them! Each is special and unique and a part of me. We have laughed and learned together and had a lot of fun! Have a great school year!

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